It isn’t until you make big changes in your life that you start to see who your real friends are. You see who stands by your side when times get tough, you understand who is willing to be there with you when you need it the most. Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Luke, and from what we read in the gospels, he was a great friend, and a loyal comrade to Saint Paul. Paul in his early life, was under order by the chief priests to persecute. He killed families for the faith, and watched saints be martyred, Paul, known as Saul at that time, issued death for Saint Stephen, the first christian martyr. After his conversion on the road to Damascus, St. Paul began preaching and ministering in cities all over regions of Syria, Macedonia, and even Greece. Soon accompanied by St. Luke, we see in the Acts of the Apostles that Luke traveled with St. Paul from Troas to Philippi, after Paul had a dream of a Macedonian man standing before him begging for help. During St. Paul’s journey, conflict arises between his teaching over the resurrection of Jesus and the law of Moses so while in Jerusalem, Paul is arrested. He is brought to questioning in front of the chief priests, the people who accused him, the Sanhedrin, the Governor Felix, and his successor Festus. St. Paul was imprisoned and under accusation for more then two years. This is before he would go to Rome for an appeal to Caesar. As they set sail for Rome, Luke is the loyal comrade and accompanies him throughout the whole journey.On that journey, they experience ship-changes,disastrous cargo loss, violent storms, even a shipwreck and St. Luke accounts of it all in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 27). For two years St. Paul is under guard in Rome, preaching to all those who visited him. Saint Luke, the loyal comrade, stayed with Paul even to his death and we see this in scripture.
“Only Luke is with me.” (2 Tim 4:11)
The message from St. Luke, is to be there. Be there for those that matter, and those friends that you have and they will be there for you. Treat your friends with respect and honesty, be there for them when they are having a hard time, when their lives are a shipwreck. As friends we are called to comfort and share in whatever suffering. I think St. Luke understood that St. Paul needed that friendship and so he accompanied him for two years to be that faithful friend. We learn to be loyal and trustworthy to all those that we know. I think it extends not only to our friends, and family, but even to God. We should be loyal to him, faithful and obedient just like St. Luke. Pray for us St. Luke, loyal comrade, that we be as loyal as you!